Trump wants Aramco’s IPO in America

532 – Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, is looking to go public in 2018. Their IPO is expected to be the biggest in history, floating 5% of shares at a predicted price of $100 billion. That would give Aramco a $2 trillion valuation. While Saudi Arabia is working on a domestic listing, they are also considering a flotation abroad, in New York, London, Hong Kong, or Tokyo. On Saturday, President Trump sounded eager for the Saudis to choose America, tweeting he: “Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange. Important to the United States!” (Insert image of tweet) Despite trump’s enthusiasm, questions remain whether the United States is a viable option for Aramco. The U.S. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which passed last September would allow Saudi Arabia to be sued on the grounds that it helped plan the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Such litigation risks could force the Saudi government which owns Aramco to choose a different location. Meanwhile, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority is looking to roll back regulatory requirements for government-owned companies, which would make things easier for Aramco. What Aramco decides to do remains to be seen. According to the Financial Times, a final decision on the structure of the IPO is expected to come by the end of the year.

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